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Women Managers at HPM Receive Equal Treatment, Equal Opportunities for Advancement

Construction continues to be an industry dominated by men. But at HPM, women are treated the same as their male counterparts and are given the same opportunities for advancement.

Of HPM’s 412 employees at the beginning of March 2021, 120 are women, or about 29% of the total staff. Of the 120 women, 19 supervise at least one employee, a rate of 15.8%. Among the 292 men, 36 have co-workers who report to them, or 12.3%.

Some of the company’s top managerial positions are occupied by women.

They include:


Kehau Amorin
Home Design Center Director


Maria Gacula
HPM Homes Program Manager


Charlene Johansen
Waimea Retail Manager


Jeracah Lawless
Corporate Human Resources


Michelle Miyake-Tuquero
Maui Controller


Doreen Nozawa
Corporate IT Director


Lacey Toledo
Hilo General Manager


Cathy Yoshida
Maui Operations Manager



In the 11 months she’s been with HPM, Kehau said, she’s come to appreciate that many key roles with the company are held by women. “As a woman, I’m honored to know that we have opportunities available to us to be in key leadership positions,” Kehau said. “We’re doing our part to make a difference and lead the way for others.”

Cathy said her own career at HPM is proof that opportunities exist at the company. “I started as a receptionist and was able to advance to many different positions,” Cathy said. “HPM not only encouraged, but supported my growth and learning to be able to advance.”

HPM makes it a priority to ensure that job advancement is available to all regardless of gender, Jeracah said. “We invest in those who show potential and promise, and are willing to take on more,” Jeracah said. “Our leadership respects and values the contributions women make.”


Jeracah added “At HPM, women not only hold leadership roles in areas traditionally dominated by women such as HR, marketing and administration, but also in areas usually dominated by men like branch management and lumberyard management.” 


Maria said HPM supports the advancement of women with opportunities to attain more educational knowledge and self-development. “Last year, the company gave us free access to Hawaii Business Magazine’s Wahine Forum,” Maria said. “A few years ago, a group of us attended UH-Hilo’s Hawaii Island Women’s Leadership Forum.”

Meanwhile, Maria said, HPM makes it very clear that its owner-employees aren’t limited by gender. “I see women carrying nail guns, driving forklifts, leading teams, helping customers make decisions that impact their lives and businesses,” she said. “If you have drive and a vision, you can make things happen here.”

Doreen cited one HPM policy which contributes to a leadership structure that includes a greater number of women. “HPM affords them a flexible schedule to create an environment that provides for a good work-life balance, especially for working moms,” Doreen said.

HPM provides a model of gender equity that is consistent with, if not ahead of, the evolving construction trade, Michelle said. “Many women are engineers, architects and supervisors. Many of them operate heavy equipment and other machinery on job sites. Some even run the operations,” Michelle said. “Women are a vital part of the construction industry today.”


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